Global Habitus, Local Stratification, and Symbolic Struggles Over Identity: The Case of McDonald's Israel

  • Illouz E
  • John N
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Abstract

Employing Bourdieu's concepts of field and habitus, this article argues that McDonaldization, and by extension globalization, is a social and cultural practice, implemented by actors, with intentions, motivations, and goals. This analytical approach accomplishes two important objectives: first, it moves away from an agentless view of globalization, viewing it instead as a social practice demanding forms of skills and strategies used by actors, and second, this approach helps us understand how forms of global capital enable and are enabled by local forms of social stratification and identity. The research is based on content analysis of newspaper articles on McDonald's in Israel and an in-depth interview with the chief executive officer of McDonald's Israel. It focuses on his social trajectory, asking how his ethnic, class, and political affiliations within the Israeli context endowed him with a global habitus. This global habitus is apparent in the liberal outlook defended by the McDonald's chairman, an outlook that has pitted him against the ultra-orthodox establishment. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

Author-supplied keywords

  • Culture
  • Globalization
  • Habitus
  • Israel
  • McDonaldization

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Authors

  • Eva Illouz

  • Nicholas John

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